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Out in the middle the England captain Norman Yardley calls to his team: “We’ll give him three cheers when he gets on the square.” Then he turns to his bowler Eric Hollies and said: “But that’s all we’ll give him – then bowl him out.” With his second delivery Hollies removed the off bail. The Don finished his career with an aggregate of 99.94.

The blue wool cap embroidered in ivory and red silk that Hollies wore in that match is among items for sale at the De Vere Cavendish Hotel, Jermyn Street, London, on July 29.

The auctioneers are Ludgrove’s International, a Melbourne-based company recently formed by Michael Ludgrove who worked for Christie’s in London, Hong Kong, Bangkok and, since 1993, in Australia.

The cap travelled with Ludgrove’s from Down Under. At the end of the fifth test Hollies (who ended the game with bowling figures of 5 for 131 off 56 overs) sought out the Aussie batsman Arthur Morris who was man-of-the-match with 196 not out.

Taking off his cap, Hollies offered an exchange for Morris’s baggy green titfer although settled on receiving his sweater. Morris kept Hollies’s cap until he donated it for auction on the night of his testimonial dinner in November 2000, hosted by St. George District Cricket Club, at which it was acquired by the present vendor. At Ludgroves it carries an estimate of £9000-10,000.

At the same sale Ludgrove’s had planned to auction Bradman’s own baggy green cap from the 1948 Invincibles tour but, having received considerable pre-sale interest, negotiated a private sale for a massive AU$425,000 (£163,500).

Bradman wore the cap throughout the summer, scoring 2428 runs at an average of 89.92. In the five tests he scored 508 runs at an average of 72.57, including 138 runs in the first test at Nottingham and 173 not out at Leeds (his 29th and final test century) before making the most talked about duck in test cricket.

In 1956, Bradman presented the cap to his English godson, who consigned the cap to Ludgrove’s for sale.

The record-breaking sum eclipsed the price paid for any piece of Bradman memorabilia or any item of Australian sporting memorabilia and ended a campaign initiated by News Limited newspapers for the Australian public to donate funds to secure the treasured cap. News Ltd had an exclusive first option to buy the cap and had it been successful, the Australian Cricket Board would have become its custodian. Instead it was bought by an Australian private collector who plans to put the cap on public display.
Email: mludgrove@ludgroves.com